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France: One dead after extreme snowfall


Up to half a meter of fresh snow has caused considerable confusion in parts of France. Electricity was lost in entire regions - a motorist died after a tragic accident.

The people in the rather mountainous regions of France are quite used to snow. But the current onset of winter is even more challenging for them. Heavy snowfall has caused chaos in the southeast of the country.

A man was killed by a tree Thursday night, as reported by several French media, citing the prefecture. Traffic came to a standstill, trains fell off and thousands of people were without electricity. The French weather service warned of snow and slipperiness in several départements in the east of the country.

A motorist wanted to clear a blocked road in the evening near the town of Bourgoin-Jallieu, as reported among other things by the newspaper "La Dauphine". He was killed by a tree that fell under the snow load. Another person who wanted to help the 63-year-old was slightly injured.

In the Départements Drôme, Isère, Rhône and Ardèche were on late Thursday evening about 200,000 households without electricity, as the network operator Enedis announced. Technicians were on duty to fix the problem. An emergency number has been unlocked.

"It's really extraordinary in such a small space," said Antoine Jourdain, Technical Director and Head of Enedis National Crisis Unit, BFMTV. The trees would fall under the snow load and fall on the power lines. For example, in the municipality of Tournon-sur-Rhône, a 20,000 volt power line had failed due to the snow.

It should continue to snow - up to half a meter

Many trains around Grenoble are closed at least until Friday noon, said a spokesman for the French railway SNCF the news agency AFP. These include the direct connections Grenoble-Lyon, Grenoble-Valence and Grenoble-Veynes. Numerous trucks stayed temporarily on the snow-covered roads. The authorities called on residents to leave the car. In addition, many roads were closed.

The weather service warned at altitudes up to 30 inches of snow, locally even more than 50 centimeters. The snowfall should, according to the meteorologists, in the night to Friday.

Source: spiegel

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